Skip to content
Contact USI

Departmental Learning Goals

Students learning outcomes in the psychology department reflect the recommended outcomes for undergraduate psychology majors published by the American Psychological Associations.  By graduation, students will:

  • have a knowledge base in psychology.
  • have skills in scientific reasoning, critical thinking, and research methods.
  • understand ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world.
  • express written, oral, and interpersonal communication competence. 

Departmental Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcome #1

Knowledge Base of Psychology

Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.  These areas are addressed by PSY 201 and the directed electives. 

Learning Outcome #2

Research Methods in Psychology

Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation. These areas include ethical and responsible use of information and technology and are addressed throughout the curriculum but most specifically in PSY 303 and 353.

Learning Outcome #3

Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology

Use critical thinking, skeptical thinking, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.  The required research methods sequence as well as the directed electives address these goals.  

Learning Outcomes #4

Application of Psychology

Describe and understand applications of psychological principles to personal and social issues.  These goals are addressed by many of the electives, but specifically by 261, 273, 322, and 462.

Learning Outcomes #5

Values in Psychology

Value education, ethics, objectivity, openness, tolerance of ambiguity, and the importance of empirical evidence.  These topics are addressed throughout the curriculum, beginning with PSY 201. 

Learning Outcomes #6

Communication Skills 

Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.  Upper division courses all have writing expectations.  PSY 202, the research methods sequence, and PSY 497 all have presentations as requirements.  

Learning Outcomes #7

Sociocultural and International Awareness

Recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.  These goals are addressed in PSY 201 and many psychology electives.  

Learning Outcomes #8

Career Planning/ Development

Pursue realistic ideas about how to implement one's psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings that meet personal goals and societal needs.

Develop insight into their own and others' behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.  These goals are addressed in PSY 202 and are supplemented through advising and presentations.